Alaska 2021

Day 1

The flight out of SLC was scheduled for 9:10p (landing at 11:56p). After a bit of discussion about the new airport being ‘huge’ and my lack of experience with the new airport, I agreed to pick up godoloju and mandeez at 6:00p. Since I wanted a few minutes to adjust my headspace as close to the plane as possible, we decided I would drive to the airport, and they would ride in with me. Parked in economy parking and rode the shuttle in. We were done with all of that and in the airport by 6:30p. After security, we had a 1h30m wait, and I was reminded that the ‘two hours before’ is for the worst case scenario, and it never takes anywhere near as long as that.

The flight there was fairly empty, and I ended up with a row to myself, and there were a few empty rows on the plane. I haven’t had a chance to try out the wifi on planes, so I decided I would this flight. They wanted $10/hr for “streaming quality” internet. It was not. I watched some streamers on twitch most of the flight and had to adjust the quality down to 320×240 and 30fps to get it not to stutter. The flight was uneventful.

We landed, grabbed the rental, and left the airport all within 30m. It was after midnight, and Anchorage (at least the part we were in) was dead. We were lucky to find a gas station still open. We grabbed some supplies, had a smoke, and godoloju showed his charitable side by filling up a gas tank for a guy that was looking for a little help.

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Rack – LED’s and paint

I’ve ordered some things. Well, lots of things. But nothing expensive. One of the things I ordered, was a LED strip set. See the pictures below.

I also bought some paint, I had a fluorescent green also, but the sprayer was broken off on it. I got them at home depot because I was worried about having them shipped, but their selection was shit. I’ve now ordered a few colors online. Put a bit of a rush on them because I think I want to unbolt the rack mounts from the sides, paint them, and put them back.

I like the blue on the metal, not sure about the silver, but I have kinda a plan for that, we’ll see. I can’t decide on a color for the lights, but I don’t have to anytime soon.

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My New Project

More than once over the last couple of years I’ve thought “I need a server for this“, or “It would be really handy to have a test environment for this“, and being a little bored… I’m starting a new project. It’s probably more than I need, and you probably think I’m a little crazy. But I have the skills, know-how, and money to have a little fun with it. This project is meant to be a bit of a living, breathing project, that will change and adapt over time. I know how I want to start it, so that’s what I plan to do.

I’m going to keep a running total of the costs of this project. [Pricelist] A little later I’ll get a list of ‘wins’ or purposes that I used the rack for, so I can see the costs of these wins. This is mostly just a curiosity, I’m already confident that I’m doing this on the cheap.

I plan to use as much of the random equipment I have laying around as possible. Some of this will end up being a little dated. If it is too dated to be useful, I’ll replace it.

Project Pricelist

rack and rack partsqtyMy CostIn Use?estimated valueLink
Rack 21U185.00yes500.00 – 1000.00Link *
1U blank (metal)60.0032.39Link *
2U black (metal)20.0015.99Link *
4U black (metal) 20.0053.86Link *
1U shelf (metal) 1/2 rack depth10.0028.37Link *
2U shelf (metal) 1/2 rack depth 20.0079.98Link *
2U Drawer w/ Lock (metal) 1/2 rack depth 10.0064.99Link *
4U Drawer (metal) 1/2 rack depth 10.0058.99Link *
2U Power Plug w/ locking (custom)10.0025.00
1U PSU w/ 6 outlets, 1 switch, 15amp fuse switch10.0048.87Link *
20 Ft Heavy Duty Power Cable 10.0044.88Link *
Monitor Mount Arm (missing pieces)
(currently unusable)
10.00
85.00$953.35 – $1453.32
* Not the actual item, closest I could find.

The Rack

I picked this rack up about 6 years ago from local online classifieds. It was about 30mins away from me, so I sent a buddy of mine with a trailer to go get it for me. Cost me $85. It’s been sitting in a corner of my garage waiting for me to find a use for it. I knew I eventually would… but I’ll admit it took me longer than I expected. It’s dusty and full of cobwebs and dirt, so first I’ll need to clean it up.

It has handles on the sides, casters, and rails that have the holes cut directly into them instead of requiring cage nuts. It’s actually an audio equipment rack. I may have to swap out the rails, after I get it cleaned up I’ll dig into that a bit.

When I bought it, it had a monitor mount clamped to a 2″ hole in the top, near the backside. Now, I wish I would have saved the mounting hardware for that, but It doesn’t look like I did. You can see the arm at the top of the rack in the picture on the left.

The power cable, plug, and PSU are a partial custom job, that I might reuse. I plan to attempt to keep the portability of the rack intact, so I like the power cord being removable. The cord has a locking end on it, on the rack side, and a standard 120v outlet on the wall side. I’m not sure how I feel about the PSU, it feels empty. I have some battery backups being delivered and I’m not sure how I feel about their power running through this, debating if I’m going to use it.